REAL ESTATE PIVOTS IN THE COVID 19 ERA
According to a press release by the Ottawa Real Estate Board, its members sold 913 properties in April via its Multiple Listing Service System. This figure implied a 55 percent decrease when compared to the 2,025 sales they made back in April 2019. The sales in April this year were broken down into 700 sales under the residential-property class and 213 sales under the condominium-property category. This implied a 56 percent decrease and 51 percent decrease respectively in both classes when compared to sales made in April 2019. This amounts to a five-year average of 1,692 properties for April unit sales.
In a statement made by Deborah Burgoyne (President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board), she highlighted that even though April’s statistics were in complete contrast with the previous month and year-over-year statistics for April 2019, she was proud of the fact that their members adjusted quickly to the “State of Emergency” guidelines. She also said they are setting a cap on work activities in a bid to assist homeowners who are forced to sell and/or buy during this significant period. This was done while minimizing the health risk to all parties involved.
The average sale price of a residential-class property in April was $521,694, while that of condominium-class property was $327,813 depicting a 6.8 percent and 6.3 percent increase respectively from a year ago. The Year to date figure portrays an 18.5 percent and 15.1 percent surge in the average sales price for condominiums and residential properties respectively.
Burgoyne went further to state that even though the number of unit sales dropped considerably, the price of residential properties increases in value when compared to last year’s figures i.e. they often sold above the asking price. She also highlighted the existence of pent-up demand in their market place, asserting that there will be a rebound in sales when the markets open up again. This will make up for the decline experienced in the spring market.
According to Burgoyne, their members are consistently adjusting to modernization in the real estate industry, making use of the required tools. They are focused on innovative ways to market their properties via the use of technology. Some of these innovative ways include; holding virtual tours, live streaming open houses, posting virtual tours, just to name a few. These innovations are pivotal to alleviating risk for all parties and are unquestionably necessary as things return to normalcy in their working environment and the city.
Burgoyne urged potential buyers and sellers looking to sell or buy a property during this period to hire the services of realtors. These realtors will plan, discuss, and protect you during this period and will assist you to complete these transactions safely and prudently.
In addition to the sale of residential-class and condominium-class properties, OREB members since the beginning of the year assisted clients to rent 947 properties compared to 778 properties this time last year.